Getting the Corner on Crude
The above doormat is at the entrance of the office of Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe. I guess he and his ilk think this sort of thing is funny. I do not. I think it is rude and crude. Maybe it is because I come from a different society, with different standards of right and wrong, than the people running political campaigns and in the public limelight seem to come from. I think perhaps their standards of what is socially acceptable were molded through too much MTV and too little of the reading of God’s Word.
Terry McAuliffe, as the National Committee Chairman of the Democratic Party is distinctly a leading representative of his party. It behooves him to be more thoughtful about the standards with which he chooses to both conduct and represent himself for that reason. Making a doormat of President Bush’s face says less about the President than it does about the man who placed the doormat at the entrance to his office. For myself, I spent too many years being trained that the Chief Executive of our country deserves a certain respect for his position no matter what we might think about him personally. This is why, instead of making doormats of President’s Carter and Clinton, I wrote letters to them concerning issues on my mind, and also engaged in a war of words to resist mistakes they had made. This is the proper way to deal with people elected to high office in the American society.
President Bush did enough to hurt his image and the image of the image of the Presidency on his own when he did the standup routine at the dinner for radio broadcasters this fourth week of March. I realize that people laughed and they had a good time, but the majority of the people there were not his friends. I suggest that they were laughing at him and not with him for the most part. For my part, I have attended too many Dining Ins and Dining Outs as a professional soldier, lifting my glass to the toast, “Gentlemen, the Commander in Chief!” Even when Presidents I did not like were in power I lifted my toasting glass in respect to his office. I cannot take pleasure in seeing people acting in such a rude manner as to make the President’s face a doormat.
Mr. McAuliffe’s behavior was not without precedence, however, and in fairness to him I must report this. He may have taken his cue on how to insult the President from Saddam Hussein, who had a similar insult prepared for former President George H.W. Bush.
Saddam placed this mosaic as a doormat at the entrance of the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, as a means of making a typical Middle Eastern insult to the President. Since the fall of Saddam pictures of him have been pummeled with many shoes as an expression of the contempt with which his own people held him.
Saddam, who certainly had a corner on the market when it comes to rude and crude, actually made his insult with more style than Terry McAuliffe. His insult was at least a mosaic inlay and consistent with the culture that he came from. While Americans have often been accused of being irreverent, and sometimes even rude and crude, they have usually held to some standards about what they do and don’t do in their own country. It appears that a new season is coming in American culture and it is not an improvement. It is one where facts and truth are ignored or distorted, and one that does not respect anything, especially the institutions of our democracy. But I think there is a problem being exposed in the society with such behavior. I have observed that many people who do not exhibit any respect for others generally do not have much respect for themselves either. That is how they are able to act as crudely as you often observe them doing.
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